It’s time for another season of bad bets based in good process, better known as Bold Predictions.
In this series, we’ll look at weekly matchups, using history as a contextual backdrop – as well as in-season trends – in order to unearth unexpected events that have a chance at coming true.
A quick recap of Week 2.
- What I meant to say in last week’s piece was – “why wouldn’t there not be an Andy Dalton debacle?” Simple typo.
- I don’t mind missing on picks, but I hate bad process. That’s what the Jonnu Smith breakout prediction amounted to.
- Jared Cook didn’t follow up his TE1 outing with a his usual face plant, but the numbers were not there against a weak Denver linebacker corps like I expected.
We’ll topple a few receptions records in Week 3, while making a bet that the Fitzmagic isn’t about to run out just yet.
Record Broken for Most Targets Through 3 Games
We spent much of the summer trying to sort out who was the No. 2 wide receiver for the Saints, but in a surprise twist, it turns out that the gig belongs to No. 1 WR, Michael Thomas.
Through two weeks last year, Thomas had 10 catches on 18 targets. This year, he’s already put up 28 catches on 30 targets — the seventh-most targets through two games ever.
Meanwhile, for all the hand wringing over Antonio Brown’s “slow” WR10 start, his 33 targets through two weeks are the second most ever.
Thomas will likely break Julio Jones‘ record for most receptions through the first three weeks of any season this Sunday – he needs just six catches to pass Jones’ mark of 34 catches in 2015.
The targets record will be tougher to break, although Brown is just barely on pace to do so.
|Antonio Brown||2018 (2 Games)||33||18||160|
|Michael Thomas||2018 (2 Games)||30||28||269|
Brown needs 14 targets to pass Jones and T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the record.
With 15 targets per game, Thomas is on pace to fall just short with 45. However, he already has a 17-target game under his belt this season, so another 17 looks is within his range of outcomes under the dome in Atlanta.
Thomas had those 17 targets against the Buccaneers, the team Brown faces on Monday night. With Brown making Twitter waves about a trade, and then failing to show up for work on Tuesday, he stands a good chance of getting the “squeaky wheel” treatment and blowing this record away.
The GLSP App cares not for such narratives, but still gives Brown an epic ceiling nonetheless.
2 RBs Break the Record for Most Receptions Through 3 Games
Credit to Charlie Kleinheksel for bringing attention to the fact that RB is the new WR in this week’s First 10 column.
I predict that by the end of Week 3, the top-two spots on the all-time list of most RB receptions through three games will be populated exclusively by 2018 RBs.
Here is the list as it currently stands.
Christian McCaffrey and Chris Thompson need seven and eight catches respectively to pass Reggie Bush’s record of 26 catches through three games.
McCaffrey stands the best chance to get there as he takes on a Baltimore defense which surrendered seven receptions to Bengals RBs in Week 2.
Thompson will be harder one to hit. He takes on the Packers, who have been relatively stingy in that area, giving up an average of six RB receptions per game so far.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Mocks Regression, Throws 4 More TDs
Fitzpatrick’s start is already one for the record books. His 80.5 fantasy points is the best mark among all players through two weeks, just ahead of Jimmy Smith’s 79.3 and Peyton Manning’s 74.
His 8 TD passes through Week 2 is tied for third all time. If Fitzpatrick throws four more on Monday night, he’ll tie Manning for the most through three games to start a season. Of course, by then, Patrick Mahomes may have already surpassed Manning — the sophomore’s 10 passing TDs through two games is the best ever.
Six of those TD tosses came against the Steelers, the team tasked with containing Fitzpatrick and his plethora of weapons. It’s not the best QB matchup this week, but it’s in the green according to the Streaming App.
The GLSP Sim Scores like Fitzpatrick even more, giving him the highest median and high projections for the week.
Four TDs in three straight games is asking a lot, even from the recently-elite likes of Fitzpatrick, but if there’s anyone who can pull it off, it’s the man they call Fitzmagic.